Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Are Your Facebook Friends Really Your Friends ?

I guess I'm fairly lucky (or some might say unlucky) when it comes to social media. I have a couple hundred Twitter followers, and even fewer friends on Facebook. My problem is, sometimes even just a few hundred feels like too many.

I may be one of the few marketers, who doesn't really have a burning desire to have many, many more mutual "friends".

I've been feeling this way for a while now.

So, when I came across these two posts:
Should I "unfriend" my Facebook friends?

... and the post that inspired it:
It’s Not You It’s Me - My Goodbye To Facebook Friends

... you can probably imagine that the message kind of hit home with me.

As I said, unlike these guys, I don't have thousands of "friends" to wade through. But, my son and daughter, who live with their mom did just get facebook accounts recently. I sure would hate to miss one of their updates because my feed is filled up with messages from people I may barely even "know" telling me all about what they're marketing, lasted post on their blog, or inviting me to be a knight, or fill out a movie quiz ... you get the idea.

No, I think I'd much rather have a couple of dozen "friends" who are people I actually know.

I doubt I'll be "unfriending" anybody who regularly reads and comments here on my blog ... but if I do, please realize it's nothing personal ... and actually, if you comment enough here that I recognize your name, then I would consider you a friend anyway.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Todd

8 comments:

  1. That's an amazing point you make. It seems as though people have contests to see just how many friends they can have on their Myspace or Facebook page. Maybe the word they should have used was "Acquaintances". Anyone who tells you they have thousands of friends is someone who doesn't have any close ones.

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  2. Nice question. Some people are just in fact competing each other to win many friends. Either knowing them or not. What's the sense of the word friends if you don't know personally who your friends are. This somewhat to ponder.

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  3. I recently started up a facebook account and was so happy to run into all my high school friends that I haven't seen in 20 years. Now, I can't bare the thought of talking about business stuff. How do you get passed that?

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  4. lol Grog, that last sentence is just too true. It's kind of a sad reflection of today's society that some people can have thousands of "friends" on the computer, but couldn't even tell you the name of the couple who lives 2 or 3 houses down the street.

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  5. Hi Jennifer,

    "how do I get passed that?" ... talking about business stuff ... to be honest, I have a facebook account, and I have both friends and acquaintances on there ... but I really don't use it to it's full potential for either staying in touch with friends, or for business. Although, I would tend to suspect that as a tool, it's better for the former as opposed to the later.

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  6. I feel so much better now knowing that I am not the only one that has not gone to the 'I must have millions of "friends" to make me look special'. LOL!

    FaceBook in itself is a pain little alone if you have tons of people sending you invites to groups of no interest. Umm, I a white female in the US & do not think you really would want me in your 'Black Men of the Ukraine' group, so why send it to me?

    Maybe I am going about FB all wrong but, it just has not been worth my time for business. There are to many other places to do that.

    I also have no urge to see people I went to school with 20+ years ago & that is what FB was to be about.

    Sheryl Loch’s last blog post..Deep Back Linking Makes You Sexy

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  7. Hi Sheryl,

    I'm kind of in agreement with you as far as the business thing goes ... there is probably a way to use FB effectively, but to be honest I just don't have the time to try to figure it out right now. For the time being, logging on every couple of days to see what my kids are up to in NC makes it a useful enough tool for me.

    Todd

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  8. If Facebook and similar sites are designed to help to enrich the online social connection then it's really being diluted by the fact some people are obsessed with quantity and not quality. There may be a dangerous precipice that Facebook could risk plunging from over saturation: for the most part hype of novelty drives people on social networks, but people will tire and the overload can evolve into mundane. When people then discover there is no "there" there. There is a telling episode of "The Simpsons" where some of Springfield's kids are asked to participate in a survey group about the "Itchy & Scratchy" cartoon. When the president of the cartoon company rails against the kids because of indecisive answers, Lisa chimes up and says "Um, excuse me, sir. The thing is, there's not really anything wrong with the Itchy & Scratchy Show. It's as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters just can't have the same impact they once had."

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